To all my readers of Troubles of a Genderly Confused Teen, I am greatly sorry to throw this out but it has been the BIGGEST of all mental blocks I have encountered thus far. This is the only think I can focus on and as such, have decided to just get it out of my head so I can move on and get the next chapter out.
Anyway, I urge you to read on and be dumbed down by this useless story.
I own naught.
Two's Company, Three's a Party
Ichigo sighed into his hand for what seemed the thousandth time that day. After all that fiasco with Aizen, the sudden slump back into normality was still a bit hard to manage. Even a fortnight after the battle and he was still getting spooked by shadows. His classmate, Keigo, had been on the receiving ends of many an impulsive submission, though that wasn't too uncommon in itself. Groaning, he scratched the back of his head and fell onto his bed. While he was happy to have a way out from seeing all these hollows and things, slowing down was gona be tricky.
Rolling onto his side, he suddenly sneezed. Scratching the itch, he looked around nervously. Despite having his extra sense disappearing, he could feel something ominous pressing down on his shoulders. Shivering, he got up and left the room to try and shake the feeling.
"Come on Rukia-chan! Just a little bit? I know you'll like it! Matsumoto-san liked it so that counts for something!"
The petite raven haired death god eyed the creation before her with great hesitation. Having the afore mentioned woman approving of such a meal didn't count for much, considering her own tastes. The slightly quivering mass of jelly, chilli salt, honey and other unmentionables made even someone like herself feel a touch ill.
Perplexed by her friend's hesitation, Orihime grabbed a spoon and scooped up a glob of the concoction and popped it into her mouth with an excited little squeal. Her face screwed up in a cute little smile that only she could manage as the smorgasbord of flavours assaulted her tastebuds.
Rukia leaned in slightly, curious to see if there were any adverse stomach reactions to the meal. Seeing it go down without a problem, she turned her big eyes back to the slightly smaller lump on her plate. She poked it tentatively, wondering if it really was as gross as she imagined.
Feeling a pair of delicate hands encase her wrist, the spoon in her hands was quickly plunged into the mix and stuffed into her mouth before she could protest. She looked at the girl before her in surprise as Orihime sent her a stunning smile.
"See? It's good huh! I need to show you my leek and broccoli ramen mix next too! Otherwise you'll never grow up big and strong like me."
The orange haired girl then began gripping her arms in a vibrant display of strength as her muscles bunched beneath her skin. Slowly chewing, Rukia pondered her claim. While the comment on her growing up big and strong like Inoue was pretty much forfeit by the fact she was near five times the girl's age, the rest may have had some weight to it.
Both Inoue and Matsumoto were rather large in some areas of their anatomy that others seemed to lack in. While Rukia herself was never one to flaunt her own body, she did sometimes wish she had a bit more substance up top. Perhaps the two women's unusual eating habits had effected their growth like that?
Forcing herself to swallow, the residual tingle on her pallet from the chilli surprised her in its pleasantness. The rest of it didn't taste too badly either. Perhaps she should try some more of the strange meals the bubbly girl prepared. Slightly fanning her lips, she popped another spoonful into her mouth.
Humming her approval, she pointed her spoon at the excited girl before her. "You know, this isn't actually too bad! Where do you come up with this?"
Inoue clapped her hands together in success and squealed happily. "Yay! I knew you'd like it! As for how I come up with it, I guess it's just a woman's intuition."
Nodding slowly, a thoughtful look crossed the girls face as she continued chewing. "You know, you really should cook something like this for Ichigo. He's a growing boy! He needs all the nutrients he can get."
Blushing slightly, Inoue paused. "Y-you really think so? I mean, he's already so big and strong and powerful... so... so I don't really think he'd need any little thing I could prepare... he never wanted anything before either..."
Rukia raised an eyebrow humorously and licked her lips as Inoue trailed off shyly. "You really have a thing for him don't you?"
Caught off guard, the girl tripped over the rug and landed face first in front of her friend. Raising her head, she completely ignored the red mark stretching across her head. "W-what makes you say that?"
Laughing, Rukia rolled her eyes. "Oh come now. It's plain as the nose on your face! The only person who hasn't realised this yet is Ichigo and that's just because he's as emotionally developed as a slug."
She then pointed her spoon accusingly as the blushing girl. "You should really tell him how you feel you know. Heaven knows that boy won't. He probably doesn't even realise what he feels unless someone actively points it out to him. Besides, you never know when someone else might come along and take him away."
Inoue's cheeks reddened further and she mumbled something under her breath. Cleaning out an ear, Rukia leaned in. "What was that? I was chewing too loudly to hear."
Inoue reddened further again and squeezed her eyes tight as she confessed. "Just before I left to be with Aizen, I may have possibly... by perchance... snuck into Kurosaki-kun's room and told him that I had... certain feelings for him... while he slept..."
While surprised the normally reserved girl actually had the metaphorical balls to do something like that, she still shook her head good naturedly. "Oh come now, you can't seriously call that a confession! At best it's a practice run for the real thing."
Inoue looked down sheepishly. "W-well, it's better than nothing, right?"
Rukia shrugged. "For you perhaps. Ichigo got nothing out of it though."
Inoue phased out momentarily as she remembered the sleeping boy's peaceful face. Rukia sighed amusedly as she saw this. Shaking her head, the surprisingly strong girl picked up her taller friend and set her down on her feet. "Right, we are going over to his place right now and you are telling him."
The recently departed blush on Orihime's face returned full force at the proposal. "B-b-but how am I mean to do something like that!"
Rukia smiled happily. "Same way you did when he was asleep, except now he's awake."
Inoue resisted the pull on her arm, looking around fearfully. "Maybe, but right now? I mean, Kurosaki-kun might be busy and I really don't wana get in his way or – ouch!"
A little tear sprung into her eye as she looked at Rukia after she bopped her on the head. The girl had a serious face on as her fist moved from Inoue's head to her hip. "Don't 'but' me. You're doing this right now while I can still help. We only have another day or so until that idiot can't see me anymore and I can pretty much guarantee you won't say anything once that happens. So yes, we are doing it right now."
Standing back, Rukia placed a thoughtful finger to her lips. "I think I have an idea that'll help him listen too. I've heard from Matsumoto that he gets flustered around skin, so try this and he'll have less of a chance to object and more of a reason to pay attention."
Reaching out, the little girl deftly undid the top two buttons of Inoue's top and rearranged her shirt in a way that displayed a generous amount of cleavage. Squealing embarrassedly, Inoue quickly covered herself up.
"S-surely I can't so this! It's so improper!"
Rukia snorted. "Nonsense, it's sexy. I've seen plenty of girls your age with half your chest doing the exact same thing with twice the amount showing. Besides, it is for Ichigo..."
She left the statement hanging for a moment, hoping Inoue would agree. The girl seemed to ponder it for a moment, but just blushed heavily and hid her face in her hands. Sighing, Rukia guessed that even the normally pure thoughts of Inoue had momentarily dropped into the mud of perversion. Giving up for the moment, Rukia just grabbed Inoue's arm again and began dragging her along once more.
Resisting again, Inoue removed her face from her other hand and looked worriedly down at the girl obstinately tugging at her arm. "But, what about you then?"
Pausing, Rukia looked up at her. "What about me?"
Inoue looked at her in confusion. "What about your feelings? Won't this hurt you?"
Totally caught off guard, Rukia did her best to pass off the accusation. "How could this hurt me?"
Inoue raised her eyebrows exasperatedly. "Well dah, me confessing to Kurosaki-kun when you like him too!"
Now in the grilling seat, Rukia blushed slightly and forced her gaze to stay with Orihime's. It astounded the death god at how Inoue occasionally had these brilliant insights into things, when the girl was usually that ditsy she would flash a street her panties and not think twice about it. "Come now, the only feelings I have for that knucklehead is strictly friendship based."
This time Inoue smiled her knowing smile that made Rukia shiver. "You don't have to hide it from me, I know how you feel! It's ok, really."
Blushing harder, Rukia looked away. "My feelings towards Ichigo are irrelevant. What we're focusing on now is you. So, come on before it gets dark."
This time, Inoue seriously dug her heels in. "But why? If you feel like I do, then I know for a fact this hurts."
Pausing, Rukia turned away from Inoue. "Assuming I actually did have feelings for him, it's pointless. In a matter of hours he won't even be able to see me. So right now, it's my duty to get someone like you to watch over him and protect him when I can't. Alright?"
Not quite expecting that, Inoue fumbled over her words. "Oh... but surely you'll be able to use a gigai or something won't you? I mean, it's not impossible or anything..."
Her voice died away as Rukia held a hand up. "No. The only reason I'm still here is because Ichigo can still see me. Once he's lost that ability, I'll be reassigned elsewhere and I doubt I'll see you all again for a long time."
Turning, she then flashed Inoue what she thought was a slightly forced grin. "So, nothing here for me to hold onto. Right now, it's all about you! Now, let's go!"
Not given a chance to argue, the busty orange haired girl was dragged down her apartments stairs and pulled off towards her unsuspecting crush.
Rubbing his nose, Ichigo looked around irritably. No matter where he went, he always ended up sneezing within a few minutes of walking into the room. He contemplated the idea of Yoruichi stalking him in her cat form, but quickly dismissed it seeming the woman would have jumped him naked by now. He still couldn't understand the woman's obsession with nudity. Sniffing, he tied up the now full bin bag and carried it outside.
Turning to the voice, he saw an energetic Rukia waving vigorously, while an overbalanced Inoue struggled to keep up the pace the small girl set.
Ichigo waited patiently for the duo to arrive, silently wondering what dinner was going to be tonight. He hoped it was to be beef and rice. He liked beef and rice.
As the girls finally reached him, he cast a curious eye over to Inoue, who was doubled up and breathing heavy.
"Hello to you, Kurosaki-kun!"
Ignoring the small death god's greeting, he pointed at the wheezing girl. "Oi, is she alright?"
Looking down at her companion, Rukia raised her eyebrows. "She wasn't like this a moment ago. You ok Inoue?"
The girl in question raised a hand weakly. "Ye- yeah, I'll be al- right."
Beaming back up at the much taller boy, Rukia then slipped her hand into his and proceeded to drag the two of them into his house, much to his protest.
"Oi, what do you think this is? Weren't you ever told to wait until after you were invited in to barge in?"
Rukia laughed. "What are you talking about? I lived in your closet! That counts as living here. Besides, are you really going to let Orihime pass out here from dehydration?"
Looking over at the pale girl, he conceded the point, but still made to grumble as much as possible over the whole situation. What followed then was a rush of talking, water bottles grabbed and bodies being squeezed up the narrow stair case at Rukia's behest. Finally reaching his room, they were stuffed inside with a "Do Not Disturb" sign hanging off the door knob.
This would prove to be a great sore point to Ichigo later after his dad tackled him into the ground, crowing his praises on how he got two fine young ladies into his room at the same time. He was then quickly thrown out the window before the seedy old man could start asking questions about their body measurements.
Anyway, back in the room, Ichigo now sat on his bed thoroughly annoyed at his predicament. Inoue sat on the ground blushing for some reason; all the while fidgeting and Rukia had that mischiefus look in her eye that always meant suffering on his half. Looking down at Inoue, he dropped an eyebrow.
"Oi, are you really ok? You're still red and now you're twitching. Do you need to lie down or something?"
Quickly raising her hands, Inoue reddened further and started spluttering. "N-n-no, I'm fine K-Kurosaki-kun, really! No need to worry about me!"
She trailed off into some rather forced laughter and quickly went back to playing with her fingers. Not bothering to decipher the girl code, Ichigo looked back up at the girl grinning before him.
"So what do you want then aye? You never just appear to talk. What's your blackmail?"
Feigning hurt, Rukia placed an offended hand to her chest. "My, what are you talking about Ichigo? How could you insinuate such a thing about me? I never bring anything but good news and happiness to your life!"
Ichigo looked at her, rather unamused. "Don't lie to me. You know damn well that something like this right now rarely ever means anything good to me."
Rukia's eyebrows then wriggled and she sent him an unnerving smile. "Perhaps, but this right now is definitely a good something. Hey, Inoue?"
The girl just cupped her hands to her face and nodded hesitantly. While not the sharpest tool in the shed, Ichigo quickly picked up the connection. "Ok, what did you make Inoue do?"
Looking down at her friend, Rukia raised an amused eyebrow. "Nothing yet, but I'm hoping to make progress with that."
Grabbing Ichigo's face, she turned to back to her, making sure she had his full attention. "Right. Now, I have to ask you some questions to get this ball rolling. Kurosaki Ichigo! Have you ever considered dating?"
The ginger boy's eyes widened. "Wait, what?"
Rukia cocked her head. "Are you deaf? I said, have you ever considered dating?"
Ichigo growled. "I heard what you said, I meant, what do you need to know this for?"
His question earned him a thump to the head.
"Don't ask. You'll find out. Now, answer!"
Grumbling about the inappropriateness of it all, Ichigo had a think. "Well, no, not really. I've kinda been way too busy lately to think about it, what with that bastard Aizen n' all that."
Unfazed, Rukia pressed on. "Ok, now that you've had some down time, what would you think is your perfect girl?"
Totally lost as to where this was going, Ichigo simply complied as a way to hasten their leaving. He also couldn't help but notice Inoue beginning to twitch and fidget more. "Damn you're pushy. I duno, not too tall, kind, pretty..."
Growling, Ichigo tried to cover his slightly red cheeks and ran his hands through his hair. "I duno, what do you need to know this for anyway? You like me or something?"
The question caught her off guard. Stiffening ever so slightly, Rukia noticed Ichigo catch it. 'Oh not good.'
Leaning in, Ichigo looked her over with a scrutinising eye. "Is that was this is about?"
Bringing her hands up defensively, Rukia struggled to bring the conversation back under her control. "N-no, this is about someone else."
Sighing frustratedly, Ichigo crossed his arms and leaned back. "Well why didn't you just say that instead of taking the longest possible way around? Damn woman, learn to be direct."
Subduing the urge to thump him, Rukia silently thanked his parents for creating such a thick child. With that crisis averted, Rukia quickly regained her composure. "Right. Sorry."
Grunting his acceptance, Ichigo leaned back. "So, who's this about then?"
Rukia licked her lips. "Well to be truthful then, one of your friends has feelings for you."
Ichigo blanched and looked at her disgustedly. "Well, tell those 'friends' of mine that I don't swing that way."
Slapping a palm to her face, Rukia desperately tried not to smack him while Inoue giggled to herself from the floor. "Not all your friends are male you retard!"
Raising his eyebrows as realisation washed over him, Ichigo breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh. Phew, that was a scare. So, who is it?"
Rukia rolled her eyes. His density was becoming a bit draining. "Try guess would you? Who do you think may possibly like you after everything you've done for them?"
Crossing his fingers behind his head, Ichigo began thinking out loud. "Well, it wouldn't be Matsumoto. She'd rape me first then tell me how she feels. Yoruichi too. Soi-fon... I'd be surprised if she even acknowledges another soul as a possible boyfriend. Hmmm... who else is... yes, Inoue?"
Looking down, Ichigo paused his musings to answer the small hand raised in the air. Seeing it drop and Inoue's face get redder, he had the very strong feeling that Inoue had to say something. Hearing her mumble, Ichigo raised an eyebrow.
"What? Sorry but my hearing isn't that good."
He looked at her still dropped on the floor. "You really don't have to sit there like a servant either. Sit on the chair atleast yeah?"
Complying somewhat, Inoue stood up and walked forward, though not fully facing him. Ichigo was about to say something when he caught a flash of skin. Freezing up momentarily, it gave Inoue the time to gather her strength.
"It is... me... Kurosaki-kun..."
Not sure he heard right, Ichigo leant forward. "It's you?"
Turning to face him, Inoue squeezed her eyes shut tight and turned up the volume. "I like you Kurosaki-kun! It's me! After everything you've done for me, for saving me from Hueco Mundo, for always being there for me, for everything! I just can't help it, you're the sweetest thing ever to grace this earth! I really, really, really, really, REALLY LIKE YOU!"
Slapping her hands to her burning face, Inoue instantly fell silent, desperately hoping beyond hope that the boy wouldn't just burst out laughing, or worse, kick them out. After a few moments of quiet, she spread her fingers and peeked through them to see what was happening. What entered her vision was Ichigo very red faced, decidedly looking away from her. Wondering what was wrong, she looked down and noticed that her top was still undone. That, coupled with the close proximity of the two had resulted in Ichigo copping a face full of her chest.
Squealing, she spun around to fix herself up while Rukia helpfully threw in, "I told you it would help!"
Breathing a few times, Inoue then turned back to face Ichigo, both teens still rather red faced. Neither spoke for a moment until Ichigo cleared his throat. "Well... I didn't see that coming. Literally. So yeah. You like me?"
Swallowing, Inoue just nodded, not trusting her voice. Nothing more was then said until Rukia jumped in, smacking Ichigo across the head and throttling him.
"Well dah, now you're meant to ask her if she wants to go out! Honestly, after a girl pours her heart out to you, all you do is stare at her like some brain dead animal!"
Struggling to remove the aggressive girl, Ichigo protested loudly. "Well how was I meant to know that? It's not like it's ever happened before!"
Giggling to herself at the scene, Inoue smiled. "It's ok Rukia-chan, really! I don't mind..."
Her smile then began to drop. "It's ok if Kurosaki-kun doesn't want to take me out. I'd understand. I mean, I'm not all that pretty, or smart or, or stylish or anything like that so..."
Throwing Rukia into the far wall, Ichigo glared at Inoue. "Oi! Shut your mouth right now!"
Snapping her jaw closed, Inoue started tearing up. Not noticing though, Ichigo continued. "I will not have one of my close friends put themselves down like that! You most certainly are smart! Without you helping me through many different problems I'd more than likely be dead by now! And you most certainly are pretty and stylish! I duno what gave you that stupid idea, but you're easily one of the best looking girls in school, not to mention you make everyone realise the school uniform doesn't actually look that bad. Actually, you're the only person so far who makes it look any good! So just get those other thoughts out of your head, a'ite?"
Panting after his rant, he didn't notice Rukia slip up beside him, a bandaid on her head. "So, you admit Inoue is good looking aye?"
Blinking a bit, Ichigo went back over what he said. "Well... yeah, I guess I do. Huh."
He didn't then expect the flying body tackle from the curvaceous girl that flattened him to the bed. "Oh Kurosaki-kun! That's exactly why I like you so much!"
Looking up over her shoulder, he silently pleaded with Rukia for help. The raven haired girl just stood away, arms crossed with a smug little smirk on her face. No help there. After a moment, Inoue then sat up, tears glinting in the corners of her eyes as she looked down at the boy below her. "Honestly, I don't mind if you don't want to go out with me. Now that I know you think that, I'm happy."
Scratching his head, Ichigo just sighed awkwardly and tried to make eye contact with the girl above him. "Well, it's not like I can leave you hanging after all that hey. So... I duno, you wana go grab a drink sometime?"
Gracing Ichigo with a more than beautiful smile, Inoue latched onto him again, a few tears sliding down her cheeks in happiness. "Yes, yes, yes, yes, oh yes! I would love to! Honestly, nothing could make me happier!"
Rukia then jumped on top of the duo, knocking the wind out on Ichigo. "Well now, with that all sorted, I think right now would be a perfectly good time to get on with it, don't you agree Inoue-san?"
Looking down at Ichigo, she worried her bottom lip. "Well, I wouldn't mind, even if it's a bit sudden. I was hoping that I could try make myself look a bit nicer for it though..."
Pulling them both up, Rukia fussed over them, pulling their clothing straight. "Nonsense. You look fine as you are. Right Ichigo?"
Caught off guard, the boy just grunted.
"See? You also need to start learning the different tones to his grunts because that was definitely a positive one."
Finishing up, she turned the two around and smacked both their bums, getting a rather sizeable jump out of Ichigo. "Now scat! You two go have a great time."
But rather than walking out, Inoue stopped and turned around. "But what about you?"
Noticing his friend stop, Ichigo turned back and looked at Rukia. Seeing his piercing gaze now on her, Rukia felt her face betray her as it slowly warmed.
"What do you mean?"
Inoue looked up at Ichigo. "We can't just leave Rukia here! She likes you too you know?"
Ichigo's eyes widened exponentially as that bomb-shell was dropped on him. "Say WHAT?"
Inoue turned to face him, eyes pleading up at him. "Yeah, she does! I mean, for everything you've done for me, you've done something similar for Rukia-chan! How could she not like you?"
Ichigo just stared at Rukia rather dumbly, still not fully absorbing the revelation. Growing uncomfortable with his odd gaze, Rukia blushed more and fumed. "Quit looking at me like that would you! Honestly, you act like you're the first person to have more than one person like him at a time. It's not that surprising is it?"
Rolling her eyes, Rukia made shooing motions with her hands. "Enough already. This is about you guys anyway. Go on, I can take care of myself."
While Ichigo still couldn't contribute any useful information to the conversation, Inoue quickly piped up. "No! It's not right that you have to miss out on this!"
Grabbing Ichigo's arm, she unconsciously pulled it into the middle of her large chest. "Hey, it's not right is it! Would you care if Rukia came too? You have a big heart! I know you could take core of us both!"
A little trickle of blood ran down Ichigo's lip as Inoue pressed her case further. While a guy would have to be frigid to say no to the opportunity of having two very lovely ladies hanging off their arms, he couldn't quite fathom that it may just be actually happening to him now.
"... and think of snuggle time at night! We'd all be so warm and there'd be so much more to talk about and so much more things to do and if we all happened to get brave we could start playing games and – "
Her mouth was quickly clamped shut by Rukia and Ichigo, both blushing heavily at where Inoue's creative mind was leading to. Blinking surprisedly, Inoue looked between the two.
"So Rukia... what do you say? Maybe wana come along?"
Nodding, the blushing girl slowly released her grip on Inoue's mouth. "Yeah... yeah I would like that..."
Smiling from behind Ichigo's hand, Inoue muffled something incoherent and grabbed both their arms before pulling them towards the door. Quickly reaching out, Ichigo managed to grab his coat before they left the room. Stumbling down the stairs, Inoue had her mouth freed at which she instantly began chattering again.
"I know the loveliest little place we can go that isn't too expensive but have a wonderful view of the river a sometimes even has live bands! Oh, and it also has pool tables and other things like..."
Looking down at Rukia, Ichigo raised an eyebrow and softly spoke over Inoue. "So you really like me then?"
The girl looked away shyly, a pout on her face. "Oh come on, so you really think after all you did for me I wouldn't? You'd have to have had the personality of a hungry bear for me not to."
Ichigo just raised an eyebrow. "So, why didn't you just say so earlier?"
Huffing, Rukia just latched onto Ichigo's arm and buried her head in his shoulder. "Just shut up and walk."
By Rukia's reasoning, she supposed she could afford to be a little bit selfish just this once. So what if in a few days she will vanish from Ichigo's sight? All the more reason to make the now count. Gripping his arm tighter, Rukia looked out at the street and sighed. Relaxing, she let Ichigo's warmth penetrate her own slight body as she resigned herself to being a normal girl, if only just this once.
Seeing Rukia's move, Inoue quickly copied, latching herself onto Ichigo's other free arm, all the while twittering away happily. Looking down, Ichigo sighed. While he didn't object in the least, having the two girls hanging off him like that was gona raise a great many questions at school.
Catching the front door with a foot, he pulled it closed behind him. It was definitely going to be troublesome, but for some reason, he didn't think it would be too bad.
A/N – And finally, it is out. Not much to say other than I hope you enjoyed it. It's been a while since I wrote something like this and I do hope it's like a 1000x more tasteful.
But yeah, laters n all that yo.